Profile picture
Jeffrey Prescott @jeffreyprescott
, 22 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
[THREAD] I spent some time yesterday with @HARRISFAULKNER on #JamalKhashoggi.

A few additional thoughts....…
Pompeo’s all-smiles trip to Riyadh supports the argument that the Trump administration is seeking a way to return to business as usual with Saudi Arabia and its leaders.

Read @nahaltoosi…
His words and demeanor in no way matched the seriousness of the issue or the tenor of what we’ve heard from Americans back home—Rs and Ds alike. And, on his way out, he made clear that neither he nor the Saudis were interested in speaking about the facts.…
See @Rob_Malley: Mr. Pompeo “made the situation even worse by taking on the task with apparent bonhomie and good humor, which hardly seems the optimal way to convey seriousness or demand genuine accountability.”…
We should be taking a hard look at this relationship; Trump seems to be looking for a way to sweep past the issue. Hence the focus for Trump on the importance of the relationship with the Saudis:
"I'm not giving cover at all ... I just want to find out what's happening."
"With that being said, Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East," he added, pointing to a US-Saudi arms deal that he valued at $110 billion, even though just $14.5 billion of that figure has actually begun to materialize.…
Even as we await this “investigation” —which the administration has entrusted, at least in part, to the Saudis themselves — there are two big points to keep front of mind.
(1) We still don’t know what the Trump team knew beforehand about the threat to Jamal Khashoggi, and when they knew it.

Important reporting by @philipbump on this question:…
Jared Kushner is in frequent touch by phone and text message with Saudi leaders — reportedly even an encrypted messenger service — and reportedly those contacts continued around the time of his disappearance.…
The U.S. has a “duty to warn” someone if we uncover intelligence pointing to a threat to their safety. Did the U.S. have advance knowledge that this might happen? What did we do with that information? What was the White House role?
Note the WH is already attempting to distance Kushner:
“Kushner was not briefed about the plot before Khashoggi’s disappearance, according to two people familiar with his knowledge of the matter.”…
But Kushner retains a Top Secret clearance in spite of law enforcement and counter-intel entanglements. This anonymously-sourced denial certainly doesn’t resolve the question, given how frequently such sources in this administration have deliberately misled reporters.
(Remember, some reporting suggests Kushner may have earlier turned U.S. intelligence information over to the Saudi crown prince to help fuel his “anti-corruption” crackdown.)…
(2) More generally, the Trump administration has placed a huge bet on the relationship with Saudi Arabia and with MbS in particular. Trump seems to be doubling down on this bet by emphasizing arms sales as a way of looking past the apparent gruesome murder of a journalist.
But this message signals to dictators around the world that they can do whatever they want as long as they do business with us. That is not in our interest nor is it consistent with our values.
Read @Indira_L:
“President Trump confidently parroted the Saudis’ denials: Hey, it could have been “rogue killers” committing the murder ... Trump argued implausibly, and why let the grisly murder of a US resident get in the way of lucrative arms sales?”…
This is where Congress will be critical, and where at present the sentiment could hardly be different—across the political spectrum. A good place to start is an overdue end to our arms sales and military support to the disastrous Saudi war in Yemen. Some important voices:
.@SenJackReed “The U.S. military should stop refueling Saudi Arabian aircraft fighting in Yemen and Congress should not approve any new offensive arms sales to Riyadh, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters Wednesday.”…
.@chrismurphyCT: “This administration appears unlikely to take decisive action, so it's up to Congress to determine the consequences. One ... must be ending our military assistance, which has given the Saudis free rein in the ongoing horror in Yemen.”…
There is a larger problem. Trump's approach reflects a pattern of embracing dictators even as our alliances with democratic countries fray. Putin and Kim Jong-un have also been flattered by Trump even as they lock up opponents at home and even assassinate them abroad.
We don’t know why he takes this approach. In this case, might it have something to do with the millions he’s received from the Saudis over the years? Either way, he’s taken U.S. foreign policy in directions that are both inexplicable and dangerous.

That is what is a stake in the U.S. response to this shocking apparent murder. And an important reason why continued attention to Khashoggi’s disappearance and apparent murder is so important.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Jeffrey Prescott
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!